THE DARK TOWER

VOL. IV, WIZARD AND GLASS

After a five-year lapse, King's gargantuan cowboy romance about Roland of Gilead (the Gunslinger) hits volume four, with three more planned. King's behemoth was begun in 1970 and published serially as The Gunslinger (1988), followed by The Drawing of the Three (1989) and The Waste Lands (1992). Volume one was portentously sophomoric, volume two prime King, volume three slack. Though this latest begins where The Waste Lands leaves off, with Roland and his four companions, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy, a half human/half animal with limited speaking ability, in a verbal gunfight to the death with Blaine, the homicidal supercomputer that lives on riddles, the story doubles back on Roland's youth and his grand love for Susan Delgado. The roundabout narrative leads us to Wizard of Oz territory—more particularly to a horribly transformed Topeka, Kansas—which the quintet must pass through as they seek the Dark Tower, the hub of creation, where Roland will discover some knowledge that will halt the quickening destruction of his post- technological Mid-World. In 1986, Topeka and the nation are huge graveyards struck by the superflu from The Stand. Roland retells the story of his youthful adventures in Gilead and of his teacher Cort, of star-crossed Susan, and of his companions Alain and Cuthbert, while reading portents in the wizard Maerlyn's glass ball . . . . Will the Path of the Beam from the Dark Tower be from the lighthouse in King's Castle Rock film logo? In Roland's quest tale, which King calls "my Jupiter" among the solar system of his published works, the bleak cosmology of self-assurance versus wrongness is as compelling as ever. But seven rambling volumes of bemusedly wry storytelling? This will be The Ring Cycle on top of The Lord of the Rings.

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 1997

ISBN: 0-452-27917-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Plume

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more